The 52nd National Convention of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) was held in Hyderabad from December 25 to 28. A total of 3,019 delegates from 445 districts of the country participated in the convention. The theme of the convention was ?social harmony?.
National Executive Council Meeting
Before the convention, the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting was held at the same place on December 24. Dr Kailash Sharma presided over the meeting, which unanimously passed a resolution demanding immediate stop on violence in the university campuses by leftist student organisations. The members also expressed serious concern over the increasing suicides by farmers, the nuclear agreement between India and US and the increasing terrorism in the country. The NEC also finalised nationwide programmes to be held during the next academic year to commemorate the birth centenary of Sardar Bhagat Singh.
The National Convention began in the evening of December 25 with the inauguration of an exhibition by Dr K.I. Vara Prasad Reddy, M.D. Shantha Biotechnics Ltd. and also chairman of the Reception Committee. He said India is becoming a knowledge power and majority of IT professionals working in the United States of America are from India. ?Any country'sdevelopment depends on the power of its youth. Unfortunately, the Indian youth are distracted by the western culture,? he said calling upon the student community to devote their more time to the country. He appealed to ABVP to speed up the character building work and make the nation powerful.
ABVP national vice president Shri P. Murali Manohar said to know the ABVP intimately one should visit the exhibition. The exhibition sheds all misapprehensions about a student organisation. ABVP represents a powerful student movement and its ideology is based on constructive programmes, he added.
After the inauguration of the Exhibition, new president and general secretary were elected for the academic year 2006-2007. Dr Ram Naresh Singh (Bihar) and Shri Suresh Bhatt (Uttar Pradesh) were elected new president and general secretary respectively. The main pandal was named as ?Guruji Sabha Mandapam?.
The convention was inaugurated by former Army Chief General V.N. Sharma, AVSM, PVSM on December 26. Addressing the delegates he said due to the vote bank politics of the Government the internal security is under serious threat. He said the terrorist activities have spread throughout the country and violence is increasing intensively. Youth should improve their leadership quality to offend the criminal politics. He said youth must observe the changing patterns in the country and enhance their qualities like truthfulness and honesty in their day-to-day life. He reminded that political uncertainty had led to the defeat of 1962 Indo-China war. India wanted friendship with China at that moment but it had lost it control on some of major geographical parts and Tibet. He stressed the need to identify permanent border between India and China through negotiations. He said infiltration from Bangladesh and Nepal is increasing causing major problems in Assam, West Bengal and north-eastern states. Islamic terrorism has become a threat to the world with Naxalism also producing terror. He requested the ABVP to improve work culture among the youth for their bright future. Dr Vara Prasad Reddy, Dr Ram Naresh Singh, Shri Suresh Bhatt, Dr N. Goutham Rao also spoke on the occasion. Shri G. Pulla Reddy, honorary Chairman of the Reception Committee, Dr Penchalaiah, Andhra Pradesh state president of ABVP, Shri K. Raja Reddy, Andhra Pradesh state secretary, were also present on the dais.
Andhra Pradesh State Conference
Andhra Pradesh state conference was organised in the main pandal on December 26. Dr Ram Naresh Singh was the chief guest. Dr Penchalaiah and Shri P. Arun Kumar were elected new state president and general secretary for the 2006-2007 year.
Prof. Yashwantrao Kelkar Yuva Puraskar
The prestigious Yashwantrao Kelkar youth award for the year 2006 was presented to Dr Girish Mahadev Kulkarni for his outstanding services in rehabilitating HIV affected persons in Ahmednagar region. Shri Kulkarni joined the ABVP in1983 and started working to aid prostitutes and their children. In 1992, he established India'sfirst rehabilitation centre for HIV affected prostitutes and their children where more than 8,000 HIV positive people are being supported today. Dr Dayanand Dongaonkar, secretary general, Association of Indian Universities, was the chief guest.
Private investment in education
The 52nd National Convention of ABVP is of the firm opinion that the policy of the present Central Government is promoting minorityism, commercialisation and corruption in the field of education. It is evident from the various decisions of the Ministry of Human Resource Development that the ruling party is using Education Policy as a means of appeasement for petty political gains. This convention strongly condemns this policy of the Central Government.
ABVP accepts the need for private participation in education but in recent years there has been increasing commercialisation in the name of privatisation. It is the responsibility of the Central and State governments to stop commercialisation of education. ABVP has been continuously demanding that a law should be enacted to stop exploitation of students by self-financing institutions and give admission on merit basis. But the Government has refused to pass any law in this connection. This exposes the anti-student attitude of the government. As a result there is a vast difference in fee structure of Government Engineering Colleges in different states. In Kerala it is Rs 4,800. In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka it is Rs 9,000. In Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh it is Rs 24,000. In Bihar it is Rs 15,000 and in Rajasthan it is Rs 41,000. Similar trend is also witnessed in the case of other courses. Major marks scandals in entrance examinations like DMET of Madhya Pradesh and ETT of Punjab and similar cases in other states are of serious concern. Jabalpur High Court has raised questions regarding the failure of the Madhya Pradesh Government to bring about appropriate legislation. ABVP appeals to the Central as well as State Governments to enact a law for admission and fee structure as urgently as possible.
It is noticed that there is no control over deemed universities; many of them are functioning according to their whims. We demand that there should be a regulatory mechanism for controlling the mode of functioning of the deemed universities.
We welcome the proposal made in the draft prepared by the Central Government for the eleventh five-year plan to increase the participation of youth in higher education from present 7-8 per cent to 20-25 per cent. But at the same time we feel that the policy decision of the cabinet to promote private institutions, permit them to decide about admission procedure and fee structure, end steps taken by the Governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh for inviting tenders for running ITIs and Polytechnics by private entrepreneurs are clear indicators of encouraging global competition and commercialisation of education. This national convention expresses its concern over this policy of encouraging commercialisation of education followed by the Central and State Governments.
Concern on crisis in economy
This convention expresses its deep concern over the deepening crisis in agriculture sector, increasing number of suicides by farmers, intensifying minorityism for the sake of vote bank politics, formulation of foreign policies at the cost of national interests under various pressures, increasing violence in the society and increasing criminalisation of politics. Sharply shooting prices of food grains, petrol, diesel and other essential commodities have made the lives of common man difficult. The continuously rising inflation is definitely a cause of concern and it calls for immediate effective steps to curb it.
Faulty economic policies of the UPA Government and directionless agricultural policies are making the condition of farmers worse. Due to continuously rising cost of cultivation, sub-standard seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and inability to repay the loans, more than 10,000 farmers have committed suicides which clearly indicates the pathetic condition of farmers. Despite the announcement of the relief package worth Rs. 3,750 crore for agriculture sector in Vidarbha by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on July 1, over 200 farmers have committed suicide between July 1 to August 21. This enunciates the severity of the situation. This national convention expresses concern over the deepening crisis of farmers and demands from the government that it must immediately constitute a commission, which should make an enquiry of the reasons behind the suicides of the farmers and should make suggestions to remove the reasons and should come out with a concrete policy on the basis of these suggestions.
The policy of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is being implemented all over the country on the basis of the law passed in Parliament in 2005. But the way in which thousands of acres of fertile lands of farmers are being forcibly acquired by the state Governments and being sold to industrial houses on very low prices has intensified the crisis in agriculture sector. The handing over of 997 acres of land of farmers to TATA with the use of police force by the West Bengal Government and the atrocities perpetrated on farmers who were opposing it have exposed the dual character of leftists. The poor and small farmers are going to be the worst hit by this policy and at the same time the Government would lose the revenue of Rs. 97,000 crore during 5 years (2005-2010). Therefore, this convention demands the Government to stop the policy of acquisition of fertile lands of the farmers.
Minorityism is being pampered in the nation since the inception of the UPA Government. The recommendation of reservation for Muslims in the pretence of poor economic conditions as per the report of Sachar Committee, utterance by the Prime Minister that the first right on national resources is of Muslims, the announcement of the constitution of a Madrasa Board by the Central Government and provision of Rs. 73 crore and 19 lakhs in the name of modernisation of madrasas in 10th five year plan simply expose the policy of minority appeasement. The convention is of the view that to provide reservation on communal basis for the sake of vote bank is unconstitutional and is a conspiracy to divide the nation once again.